University People

Commencement Speaker

Jim Lehrer
Courtesy of WSIU-TV

Jim Lehrer, executive editor and anchor of PBS’s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (and founder, with Robert MacNeil, of its predecessor), a frequent moderator of United States presidential debates, will be the guest speaker at the Harvard Alumni Association’s Commencement afternoon exercises on June 8.


Finance Chief

Elizabeth Mora
Stephanie Mitchell / Harvard News Office

Elizabeth Mora began serving as Harvard’s acting vice president for finance on April 1. She assumes those responsibilities from Ann E. Berman, who last fall announced her decision to step down for personal reasons. Mora, who came to the University in 1997 after nearly a decade in accounting at Coopers & Lybrand, has most recently been associate vice president for sponsored programs, overseeing research funding from government, foundations, and businesses. She plans to return to that post when the search for a permanent vice president concludes.


Distinguished Dramatist

Christopher F. Durang
Courtesy of Arts First

Playwright Christopher F. Durang ’71, author of Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You and The Marriage of Bette and Boo, will be honored with the Harvard Arts Medal on May 5 during the annual Arts First celebration. Durang will discuss his work and the creative process in a public conversation with actor John Lithgow ’67, Ar.D. ’05, at Agassiz Theatre at 3:30 p.m.


From HLS to BU

Scott Nichols
George Simian

Scott Nichols, associate dean for development (fundraising, alumni relations, and communications), departed Harvard Law School on April 30, after two decades of service, to become vice president for development and alumni affairs at Boston University. Nichols directed a capital campaign that raised $183 million in the early 1990s, and was similarly involved in the law school’s current fund drive, which launched publicly in June 2003 with $170 million committed toward a $400-million goal; the total raised now exceeds $270 million. Among the school goals accomplished as a result, he cited renovating Langdell Hall (the law library) and endowing 37 professorships.


Edward P. Lazear
Courtesy of Edward P. Lazear
Ben S. Bernanke
Courtesy of the office of Ben S. Bernanke

Power Brokers

The Kennedy School of Government’s Andres Velasco, Sumitomo professor of international finance and development, was appointed finance minister in the newly elected government of Chile, presided over by Michelle Bachelet.…Edward P. Lazear, Ph.D. ’74, who holds appointments at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and at the Hoover Institution, was nominated by President George W. Bush to chair the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA).…Ben S. Bernanke ’75, a former Princeton professor and then CEA member subsequently turned a Governor of the Federal Reserve Board, has become the Fed’s chairman, succeeding Alan Greenspan, LL.D. ’99. (Board of Overseers member Roger W. Ferguson Jr. ’73, J.D. ’79, Ph.D. ’81, a non-academician who was appointed to the Federal Reserve in 1997 and had served as its vice chairman since 1999, resigned that post effective April 28.)


Yo-Yo Ma
Stephanie Mitchell / Harvard News Office
Thomas A. Stewart
Harvard Business School Publications

Harvard Honorands

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma ’76, D.Mus. ’91, has been awarded a $1-million prize for humanistic achievement by the Da-vid Dan Foundation. Separately, nominees for National Magazine Awards (winners are announced May 9) include Legal Affairs, which recently suspended publication, edited by Lincoln Caplan ’72, J.D. ’76 (two nominations); Atlantic Monthly writer James Fallows ’70 (two nominations); Briggs-Copeland lecturer on English and American literature and language Sven Birkerts (for two essays in Virginia Quarterly Review); and Harvard Business Review, edited by Thomas A. Stewart ’70, for general excellence.

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